Nearly every ship you sail on will have a place to get free pizza by the slice. But what if you’re really hungry? You can often order up a whole pie, free of charge. This way you get exactly what you want instead of having to eat a slice of whatever is available. It may take a few minutes to get your pie made, so be a little patient.
Everyone knows about dinner in the main dining room… but they usually eat the buffet for lunch and breakfast. If you want something higher quality, head to the main dining room instead of the buffet. They serve both meals, but with much smaller crowds. Best of all, the food is usually better as well, since it’s made fresh.
Each day the bar will have a different drink of the day special. But just because they highlight it doesn’t mean it’s a deal. Often the cruise lines just call it the “drink of the day” to draw attention to an option to get you to buy it, but don’t cut the price.
Specialty restaurants are those spots that aren’t included in your cruise fare. They have a charge attached and are typically different fare than what’s offered elsewhere on the ship. If you want a change of pace from the buffet or dining room, these restaurants are a great option. But here’s a tip — many charge less if you eat at lunch. In fact, some are even free. So if a specialty restaurant charges $30 per person for dinner, you might find it for half-priced if you decide to dine in the middle of the day. Or they might have a lunch version of the menu that’s completely free.
Wasn’t the chicken cordon bleu fantastic last night? Wish you could get it tonight? You usually can. Even if you don’t see an entrée on the menu in the dining room, don’t think you can’t get it. Simply ask your waiter if it’s available. The worst they can say is no.
Want a hamburger at 3 a.m.? It used to be free on a cruise ship, but the lines are quickly moving toward a charge for room service. While many lines have some things for free like continental breakfast, they often now charge per item or a flat fee (order all you want for one price). Even though room service isn’t always free, still don’t forget to tip $3-5 to the waiter who brings your food.
Having a set time to eat in the main dining room can be a pain. Say you want to go to an early show but it conflicts with your set dinner time. Or what if you lay down for a nap and don’t wake up until your dinner time has passed? The good news is that it’s no big deal. Just head down to the dining room whenever you’re ready to eat, and they will find you a place to sit. It likely won’t be with your same waiter, but you’ll definitely get fed.
We all know that if you are gambling in a Las Vegas casino, you can expect the drinks to flow no matter how much you spend. On a cruise ship, that’s not the case. If you’re a nickel and dime gambler, you’re going to have to pay for drinks in the casino. If you’re betting big, however, then you will likely earn enough credit to get some free drinks. Be sure to use your card every time you play to get your spending tracked so that the cruise lines know how good of a customer you are.
Sodas and other drinks aren’t free on a trip, but tea, lemonade and water are. A little trick is to bring a few packs of those drink flavors (available in every grocery store). Drop a pack into your water to instantly make your favorite beverage for free. It’s also a good way to get the kids to drink something other than soda while on their vacation.
Odds are that you won’t need the travel insurance you buy, but when you do, it’s a lifesaver. Travel insurance can cover a ton of different things, including if you get hurt or sick on your trip. It’s also handy if you lose your luggage or miss the boat and have to make alternate arrangements to meet your ship elsewhere (or get back home).